By Eileen Durward
Today I’m talking more in-depth about magnesium and why your body needs it during the menopause. I explain why I regularly recommend this important mineral, how it can help ease many menopausal symptoms and how much you should be taking daily during the menopause.
What do I need magnesium for?
Magnesium is actually the fourth most abundant mineral in our body. It’s needed for literally hundreds of different chemical processes, so it’s very, very, very important.
Magnesium is crucial for the following functions:
- to keep your bones healthy
- for good nerve function
- to keep your mood up (we actually call it your happy mineral)
- for good muscle function
- to keep your heart healthy
- thyroid balance
- calcium regulation
- to maintain blood pressure
- for healthy hair and nails
So it’s very important, especially during the menopause!
What are the symptoms of a lack of magnesium?
A lack of magnesium can cause a huge list of symptoms and, in the menopause, this deficiency can often exacerbate symptoms caused by fluctuating hormones.
Low levels of magnesium can interfere with your sleep pattern, can cause low moods and it can even go as far as causing depression. Some other symptoms include: muscle and joint aches/pains, muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, food cravings and even nausea. A magnesium deficiency has even been known to encourage low thyroid issues and high blood pressure. This just goes to show the importance of this vital mineral!
So as you can see, a lack of magnesium can cause a huge list of symptoms. And in the menopause, these can sometimes actually be mistaken for hormonal problems.
How can you add magnesium into your diet?
So how do you get plenty of magnesium? The best way is through having a good healthy varied diet. Caffeine and fizzy drinks are known to deplete your body of magnesium so try to minimise or cut consumption altogether.
Foods that are a rich source of magnesium include: nuts and seeds, dried fruits, avocados, dark green leafy veg such as spinach and kale, as well as mung beans, brown rice and lentils. Foods such as whole grains, brown bread, wholemeal bread, and brown spaghetti can be another excellent way of upping your intake.
Cocoa beans are also a good source of magnesium, but this doesn’t mean that you can overindulge on lots of your favourite chocolate bars! A little piece of dark chocolate, maybe over 70 to 75% cocoa, can actually be really good for you, as long as you take it in moderation, maybe one or two pieces a day. You could also try cacao powder in any of your recipes or baking. A cacao-based hot drink before bed is a great way to unwind and prepare for sleep!
How much magnesium do you need?
How much magnesium do you actually need on a daily basis? In the UK, the daily recommended allowance is 270mg, but I personally feel that during the menopause, we need a little bit more than that just to keep everything in balance.
One of the best ways to get some extra magnesium is, of course, through diet. However, due to many factors including stress, we tend to need that little extra support. I would recommend including magnesium in supplement form to the mix.
I tend to recommend liquid magnesium tonics, but you can also get powders that you would just mix into water or fruit juice. These are often thought to be better absorbed into our bodies and get to work a bit quicker. Our Menopause Support actually has magnesium in it too (56.7mg of elemental magnesium per tablet), for those of you who are interested in taking a combination.
I would suggest starting at 200mg a day and see how you get on with that. Magnesium tends to work really quickly at making you feel better, so you should certainly know within a week or two, if not sooner, if it’s actually going to help you.
You can go up to around 400mg a day quite easily if you feel like you need it. Do be aware that increasing your magnesium intake can cause an upset tummy and loose bowels so I would suggest that you gradually up your intake. If you want to take more magnesium than 400mg a day, it’s really important that you do it under the guidance of a qualified practitioner, such as a nutritional therapist, because if you go overboard then high magnesium can actually cause a whole load of side effects as well.
A final note
One final point to note, if you are on high blood pressure medication, or if you are on heart medication and you wish to take magnesium, then we do advise that you just speak to your doctor first.
Lastly, as briefly mentioned already, although there is reason to believe that magnesium does help to support our hormones, often during the menopause we need a little extra helping hand – and this is where our Menopause Support comes in.
The main ingredient in our Menopause Support is fermented soy isoflavones. This ingredient helps to more directly influence our hormones by gently supporting our levels of oestrogen. Low or fluctuating levels of oestrogen are thought to be responsible for many symptoms related to menopause.
We also have some vital magnesium that we have been talking about in there to help support the actions of the isoflavones together with some hibiscus to help gently support blood pressure, and vervain to help support our mood – it’s just the perfect combination of ingredients! An extra dose of magnesium is often useful for women suffering from any of the symptoms I’ve mentioned above, so this is definitely something to keep in mind.
I hope this has given you something to think about and a bit more of an idea as to why magnesium is so very important during the menopause. I have to say, I do often recommend it to women of any age, but especially during this time in our lives – it really can make a difference!
Please do let me know how you get on! If you start or decide to take a magnesium supplement and it improves your symptoms, let me know, I love to hear success stories. Equally we’ll be on hand to help if you have any questions or queries!
From Eileen Durward, A.Vogel Menopause Expert
I hope you found Eileen’s blog post useful! It’s so fascinating how much difference one mineral can make. So now that you’ve read the article, what magnesium products do I recommend?
Well, as Eileen suggests, a liquid magnesium supplement can be really useful; it’s a great choice as it is much easier for the body to break down and absorb. I’d recommend this liquid magnesium from Floradix, which provides 250mg magnesium per 20ml serving.
I hope you enjoyed the introduction to the Menopause Support product too, it’s definitely one to consider for the future! It can really help address a number of different symptoms.
If you’ve got any questions about magnesium or Menopause Support, you can catch one of us on Live Chat between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.